Deliveroo opens Australia’s first delivery-only kitchen

Your delivery options just multiplied, with restaurants from across town now in your neighbourhood. 

If you thought choosing what to order for dinner was tough, Deliveroo has just made things harder, launching its very own kitchen in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor to bring the likes of Baby, Up In Smoke and Kong to the homes of diners who were previously out of these restaurants' delivery zones.

Fine-dining delivery is nothing new, with Supernormal Canteen, Rumi and Chaco Bar just some of the names who have hitched their wagons to delivery services like Uber, Foodora and Deliveroo. But these new delivery-only hubs - called Deliveroo Editions - decouple the restaurant from its location, giving diners more reasons to stay in with the latest season of Stranger Things rather than travelling across town to try that pizza your friend recommended.

Seven restaurants are part of the first kitchen in Windsor, with two new concepts from Chris Lucas - Di Di Dumpling and Yubi - making their début, joined by Up In Smoke's sister restaurant 8-Bit and Messina Gelato, who will offer five bespoke flavours. The three-kilometre delivery radius means that customers on both sides of the Yarra and Westgate will be able to enjoy Baby's pizza or ribs from Up In Smoke.

So, how does Deliveroo Editions work?

Deliveroo will set up bespoke kitchen spaces, purpose-built to house several delivery-only restaurants in one space, allowing restaurateurs to significantly cut both the costs and risks involved with setting up a new premise. The concept already exists in the UK, Asia and Europe and has plans to expand to other Australian capitals and regional centres, with the next site due to be announced in early 2018.

The concept is also designed to encourage innovation and development in the industry, allowing restauranteurs and chefs to experiment with new food ideas, collaborations and even new business ventures, as Lucas has done.

"The best part of Deliveroo Editions is that it gives us the opportunity to test our new concepts and see how the market reacts," Lucas says.

Di Di Dumpling offers a condensed, dumpling-only menu from Lucas' existing restaurant Hawker Hall while Yubi, an entirely new concept, is about lighter, Japanese-style rice bowls (both hot and cold) and hand rolls.

Deliveroo say the Editions kitchens could also be used as launching pads for young chefs toying with the idea of opening their own restaurant.

If it sounds familiar to a pop-up restaurant - a concept that's become increasingly popular with chefs who are between restaurants or not ready to settle on one style of cuisine - in many ways it is, but cooking delivery-only orders without the overheads of rent or bills is a fundamentally different experience to running your own restaurant, something many early-career chefs aspire to.

And, crucially, the first Editions kitchen has been set up especially for the seven restaurants currently participating. If and when some turnover happens, it may prove difficult to find the perfect tenants to suit such a bespoke set-up

Stay tuned for the next site locations, which could also include restaurants from interstate or, down the track, overseas.


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